There’s always going to be a huge amount of pressure adapting the J.R.R. Tolkien mythology for live-action, and the shadow of Peter Jackson will permanently be looming in the background. The Lord of the Rings is viewed as a monumental achievement in cinema, delivering three of the greatest big budget epics ever made, which combined to form a classic trilogy that earned almost $3 billion at the box office and won seventeen Academy Awards.
Even Jackson couldn’t replicate his own success when it came to The Hobbit, so the pressure is on for Amazon’s upcoming TV series to deliver, especially with the exorbitant costs involved. The platform shelled out $1 billion to commit to five seasons of adventures in Middle-earth, with the first run alone coming armed with a mind-blowing budget of $465 million.
Shooting is still ongoing despite tentative plans to debut the show before the end of 2021, and in a new interview, star Benjamin Walker teased that audiences will have never seen anything like it before, despite six blockbusters already occupying the same mythological space.
“Well, I’ll tell you. I’ve done a few jobs where they say, ‘You can’t talk about it’. Usually, that’s really annoying, because you’re excited about something, and you kind of going, ‘What difference does it really make?’. But on this one, having spent some time building it, as excited as you are, you don’t want to spoil it. People have never seen what we’re doing. It’s going to be exciting. Even the smallest little hint about where it might be going or what it might be, it’ll just take that little bit of joy out of seeing it for the first time.”
There is a lot of interest and a lot of people that have a high expectation, but I like that. People want it to be good. Luckily, everyone they’ve assembled here also really wants it to be good. There’s a lot of research you have to do to understand the Legendarium at large. The source material, of course. Then it’s that the people that are putting the pressure, the fans, are actually some of the most knowledgeable and helpful people in the world about Tolkien. So I really enjoy it.”
All we know for certain about Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings is that it boasts a massive ensemble cast, and it’ll run for eight episodes. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom‘s J.A. Bayona will direct the opening pair of installments and also serves as an executive producer, while Doctor Who veteran Wayne Yip will helm four episodes, with Arrow, Outlander, The Witcher and Jupiter’s Legacy alum Charlotte Brändström tackling the remaining two.
Other than that, a brief synopsis is all we’ve got to go on. But the enduring popularity of the brand has long since ensured that The Lord of the Rings is going to be the television event of the year whenever it premieres.